Congo, or should I say, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Over the last century, Congo has been on what some could call a roller coaster, with different names and leaderships. If we jump to present day Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country of about 75.5 million, the capital is Kinshasa with French being the nationally spoken language. Some other languages spoken throughout the country are Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba.
Some of the country's main tourist attractions include:
1. Lake Tanganyika
2. Mount Nyiragongo
3. Virunga National Park
4. Lake Kivu
5. Garamba National Park
6. Okapi Wildlife Reserve
7. Salonga National Park
8. Idjwi (an island in Lake Kivu)
9. Kahuzi-Biéga National Park
10. Maiko National Park
11. Lukaya River
12. Zongo Falls
13. Lola ya Bonobo
14. Ma Vallee
15. Musee National de Kinshasa (the National Museum of Kinshasa)
16. Mercato delle Stoffee Africane
Now, according to Lonely Planet, three things they list you absolutely must do when visiting this country is:
1. Visit the Kinkole Fish Market- you can be paddled down the Congo River.
2. Chutes de Lukia- natural lakes to swim in and a chimp orphanage.
3. Kisanto Botanical Gardens- trees that are over 100 years old and rivers you can swim in.
When it comes to accommodation you can stay in a regular old hotel or you can try a B&B. Some of the best hotels in this country include: Hotel Royal, Grand Karavia Hotel and Fleuve Congo Hotel. For the B&Bs, try: Bougain Villa, Le Voyageur or Havre de Paix. For the travel foodies out there: Limoncello, Le Cafe Conc, Chez Gaby, Al'Dar, Patisserie Nouvelle (for the Europeans out there), Chez Maman Colonel, Le Palais Restaurant and O'Poeta all have high reviews from tourists. Just so you know, all of these are in the country's capital. Back to the food, the main dishes in Congo generally consist of fish from the rivers, fish, plantains, chicken in peanut sauce, a variety of vegetables and goat meat.
I didn't want to get into the depressing stuff regarding that country because hey, who wants to read (or write) about such devastating things? Not me and I would hope not you! That stuff is for the news, this is for the fun and interesting stuff! In a few years once things have settled down a little bit there, I would love to visit the country and especially the more rural areas, i.g., the villages and mountains.
Tomorrow's post will be on the beautiful New Zealand!
P.S. Some friends and I are looking into visiting St. Petersburg, Russia for our fall break this year! Have any of you wanderlusters been? What do you recommend doing there?
Travel on wanderlusters and have a wonderful Wednesday!